In the Hebrew Canon Daniel does not figure among the Nebi'im ("Prophets"),
but towards the end of the third division, Kethubim ("Writings"),
viz. Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, i ii Chronicles. (See above, p.5.)
Although in the later Jewish lists of the order of the Biblical books there
are some variations in this third division, the position of Daniel never varies.
It always comes immediately before Ezra-Nehemiah, almost at the end of the list.
[Ryle, The Canon of the Old Testament, p.280 (1892).]
In the Septuagint, Cod.B has Daniel at the end of the whole list.
But in Cod.A, with a great following, it comes after Ezekiel among the prophets.
This order, so far as Daniel is concerned, is followed in the Patristic and Synodical lists of the Western Church.
[See Swete, Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, pp.210-214 (1900).]
This is also the order in the Vulgate, and is followed by the English versions.
The struggle between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties for the conquest of Syria ended with the victory of Antiochus iii at the battle of Panion (199BC) over the Egyptian forces led by Scopas.
We have but little knowledge of the internal state of Jewish affairs during
the reign of Antiochus iii and of his son Seleucus iv;
but the little that we do know is significant and highly suggestive, and it is of importance for the understanding of the subsequent history.
During the later part of the reign of Antiochus iii we have the earliest indications of the rivalry between the houses of Onias, and Tobias.
The original root of this rivalry is to be traced to the fact that
while the High priesthood was vested in the family of Onias,
the important office of tax farmer was possessed by Joseph of the house of Tobias,
first under Ptolemy iv, and, after the conquest, under Antiochus iii.
The two highest offices in the State, the spiritual and the financial -
the latter by far the more influential under the circumstances of the times -
were thus held by representatives of these two houses respectively.
For those Jews who were loyal to their faith the spiritual head was naturally the real head of the community;
but for the Hellenised Jews the holder of the purse, who received his appointment from the king,
and who represented the nation before its suzerain, was the more important functionary.
It will be readily understood that with the existence of two supreme officers of State,
independent of each other, and with diverse interests,
occasions of friction might easily arise;
and this would more especially be the case when the two parties had opposed religious views.
Greek influence had already been exercised on certain sections of the Jews for some time previously.
[Hecataeus of Abdera (c.300BC) records:
"Under the later rule of the Persians & of the Macedonians,
who overthrew the empire of the former,
many of the traditional customs of the Jews were altered owing to their intercourse with aliens."]
The house of Onias, supported by the Hasidim, the "pious ones",
was loyal to the Law,
and strict in its adherence to the ancestral religion;
opposed to the orthodox party were the partisans of the house of Tobias,
who favoured Greek ideas and practices.
It was at the instigation of a Hellenistic Jew,
Simon, of the tribe of Benjamin,
that the attempt was made by Seleucus iv to appropriate the Temple treasures.
He sent his "chancellor", Heliodorus, to lay hands on these.
The attempt failed, owing to what was believed to be some supernatural appearance.
[See ii Macc.iii.1-13, 22-30; Simon was the "guardian of the Temple."]
The episode is important as showing that the Syrian ruler could count on the
support of pro-Greek Jews in his dealings with his Jewish subjects.
It also shows that there existed at this time a very unsatisfactory state of affairs among the Jews themselves.
Indeed, the bitterness between the two parties must have reached serious proportions.
For very shortly after this the High Priest, who was now Onias iii, found it necessary to journey to Antioch for the purpose of inducing Seleucus iv to intervene and to put an end to the unrest that was going on in Jerusalem.
It was at this time, in 176-5BC, that Heliodorus headed a conspiracy against Seleucus, and murdered him.
With the accession of his brother, Antiochus iv Epiphanes, a very critical
period for the Jews dawned;
for the Hellenistic Jews found in him an ally who supported them whole-heartedly in their conflict with their orthodox brethren.
The absence of Onias iii from Jerusalem (whither he had gone while Seleucus
iv was still living) at the accession of Antiochus iv was taken advantage of
by Jason, the brother of Onias, to secure for himself the High priesthood.
He succeeded ultimately in this by offering a bribe to the king.
The bribe was accompanied by a request which Jason knew would appeal,
viz. for permission to establish a gymnasium on Greek lines in Jerusalem
and to have the inhabitants of the city registered as citizens of Antioch.
The account continues:
"And when the king had given assent,
and he Jason had gotten possession of the office,
he forthwith brought over them of his own race to the Greek fashion."
[ii Macc.iv.7-10 & cp. i Macc.i.11-15.]
It will be noted that the initiative in the movement to Hellenize the Jews
not by Antiochus,
but by the leader of the Jewish Hellenistic party.
The appointment to the High-priesthood by the king,
quite apart from the fact that the true High Priest was still living,
was, naturally enough, bitterly resented by the orthodox party,
and served to intensify the mutual hatred between them and their Hellenistic brethren.
For three years Jason retained the High priesthood.
Then Menelaus, by offering a higher bribe to the king, received the office.
Jason had to flee from Jerusalem.
In order to raise the money for his bribe to the king, Menelaus plundered
the Temple treasury.
Onias, the legitimate High Priest, rebuked him for this;
but Menelaus revenged himself by having him murdered.
In the meantime, Jason,
who had taken refuge in Ammonite territory,
had not given up hopes of regaining the High priesthood.
His opportunity occurred in 169BC,
when he heard that Antiochus,
who was warring in Egypt,
had fallen in battle.
He hastened to Jerusalem, and drove out Menelaus.
But the rumour about the death of Antiochus was false.
He returned at the end of the year,
and vented his wrath on the orthodox Jews for receiving Jason back by appropriating many of the Temple vessels.
Afterwards he instituted a "great slaughter".
Jason managed to escape, and Menelaus was confirmed in the High priesthood.
Further trouble, however, broke out.
For the Jews refused to recognize Menelaus.
Although Jason had been illegally appointed, according to the Jewish law,
he was at least a member of the High-priestly family,
and on the death of Onias iii the Jews recognized him.
But Menelaus could make no such claim.
The orthodox Jews would therefore have nothing to do with him.
Tumults broke out in Jerusalem, and the position of Menelaus became precarious.
The king had to protect him by sending a Syrian official,
Apollonius by name to take vigorous measures against the orthodox Jews.
[ii Macc.v.24; cp. I Macc.i.29.]
It is necessary here to take note that the immediate cause of Antiochus' step
was a political, not a religious one.
In refusing to acknowledge the king's nominee to the High priesthood
the Jews were, from the king's point of view, committing an act of rebellion;
that had to be punished.
And from i Mace.i.30-32 it is clear that the cruelties perpetrated were merely vindictive object lessons to show the consequences of disobedience.
What followed must be put down, in the first instance, to the Hellenistic Jews.
From what is said in i Mace.i.30-40 one can see that the religious question, which now came to the fore, was due to these Hellenistic Jews.
They seized the opportunity to combat Orthodox Judaism.
Antiochus, an ardent Hellenist, was only too ready to take a lead in this
and he did so with fanatical ardour.
He forbade the observance of the Sabbath and the practice of circumcision.
The worship of the Temple was abrogated.
Copies of the Scriptures were destroyed.
It was forbidden to possess them.
The Temple was laid waste.
The city walls were thrown down,
and a fortress was erected which overlooked the Temple enclosure.
He commanded that Heathen altars be set up all over the land upon which swine's flesh was to be offered.
Disobedience involved the death sentence.
To crown all, an altar to the Olympian Zeus was placed upon the altar in the Temple.
These cruel measures had the effect of inducing many Jews to deny their faith.
Among the greater number who resisted many were put to death. (I Macc.i.41-64.)
This resistance was at first passive.
But that could not last, and very soon resolute action was taken against the oppressors.
Mattathias and his five sons at a village named Modein, near Lydda started the revolt.
The loyal Jews from all parts of the country joined them, the Hasidim are especially mentioned. (I Macc.ii.42.)
The religious fervour and the valour of Mattathias' followers enabled them to achieve some remarkable initial successes.
But these untrained bands, poorly armed and numerically inferior, could not expect to cope successfully for any length of time with the Syrian forces.
If ultimate success were to be attained it must be by divine intervention.
It was at this critical time,
in the year 166-5BC,
that the book of Daniel was written to encourage the loyal Jews in their resistance to their enemies,
and to give the promise of the overthrow of Antiochus and the Seleucid empire,
and the establishment in the near future of God's kingdom on earth.
In what has been said the date of the book has been assumed.
It will now be necessary to give the reasons for assigning the book to the year 166-5BC.
The author of our book purports to be one of the exiles at the court of Nebuchadrezzar
and his successors.
It will, therefore, be necessary, first, to show that this is not to be taken literally.
The author makes erroneous statements about the history of the sixth century
which would be incredible on the part of one who had really lived during that period.
Thus, in the opening verse of the book Nebuchadrezzar is said to have besieged
Jerusalem and to have captured the city in the third year of Jehoiakim, i.e.
But this did not happen until 597BC when Jehoiachin was king.
Again, in v.2 Nebuchadrezzar is spoken of as the father of Belshazzar;
but Nabonidus, not Nebuchadrezzar, was the father of Belshazzar.
In v.1, 30 Belshazzar is called "king",
but he was never king -
the inscriptions speak of him as "Crown Prince".
In v.30, 31 Darius, represented as the ruler of the Median Empire (!), is
made to succeed Belshazzar.
The writer presumably did not know that Cyrus and Cambyses reigned before Darius.
In addition, three points of less importance likewise show that the writer's knowledge of this historical period was very faulty.
In a number of verses (i.4; ii.2, 4, 5, 10; iv.7; v.7, 11) the term Chaldaeans
is used in reference to a caste of wise men.
As Charles says:
"This use of the word is unparalleled throughout the rest of the Old Testament,
and there is no trace of it in the inscriptions."
[A Critical & exegetical commentary on the Book of Daniel, p.14 (1929);
Charles holds that ארטיח in ii.4 is a corruption of ויאטרו.]
The writer assumes that the court language at Babylon was Aramaic.
To quote Charles again:
"The wise men would have addressed the king in Babylonian or Assyrian,
which is declared in Jer.v.15, Isa.xxviii.11, xxi.19, to be unintelligible to a Jew."
[Op. cit., p.30.]
And finally, he uses the Persian title
"satrap" as though it was a Babylonian one.
[See further, Charles, op. cit., p.61.]
It is, therefore, extremely difficult to believe that any writer could be
so ignorant of the history of his times as this writer would have been had
he lived in the sixth century;
so that when he represents himself as having lived at that time he does so for a particular purpose, to be spoken of later.
On the other hand, our author has an accurate knowledge of the history of the Greek period down to and including the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. [For details see Charles, op. cit., pp.272-322.]
The details that he gives agree with other historical sources.
The conclusion is, therefore, irresistible that he lived during the period of which he has an accurate knowledge.
And, as the details of ch.xi show, the actual time at which he wrote must have been shortly before the end of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, for he does not record his death (163BC).
This he would certainly have mentioned had he written after the death of this king.
But a more exact date can be given.
From viii.11ff it is clear that the author wrote after the erection of the heathen altar in the Temple on the 15 Chislev (= December), 167-6BC, and before the dedication of the new altar on the 25 Chisleu 164-3 BC.
As the Jewish year began in the spring, the exact year, according to our reckoning, will be 165-4BC.
[Kolbe, Beitrage zur syrischen und judischen Geschichte, pp.28 f. (1926).]
The form of both languages supports the late date of the book.
The Aramaic is held by expert opinion to be of a later type than that of the book of Ezra.
[See Rowley, The Aramaic of the Old Testament, passim (1929).]
Similarly, the Hebrew is of a late date and poor style,
quite different from the exilic writings of Deutero and Trito-Isaiah.
Whether the whole book comes from one hand or whether the narratives are of
different authorship from that of the visions is difficult to decide;
but Charles in his exhaustive study of the subject offers a strong plea for unity of authorship,
and in this respect Rowley agrees with him.
There is however, an increasing consensus of opinion that the book is composite.
The arguments of those who hold this view are not always convincing,
and they clash with one another, on important points. [See Rowley, ZATW, 1932 (pp.259 f.).]
In common with all the apocalyptic writers our author issued his book under
an assumed name.
Various reasons have been put forward to account for these pseudonymous titles.
The most convincing is that given by Charles.
He points out, firstly, that when once the Law had assumed absolute supremacy,
"the prophets were practically reduced to a position of being merely its exponents,
and prophecy, assuming a literary character, might bear its author's name or be anonymous."
Then, when the Law claimed to be
"all-sufficient for time and eternity ... there was no room left for new light and inspiration,
or any fresh or further disclosure of God's will;
in short, no room for the true prophet. ... "
[Op. cit., pp.x f; for a different view see Rowley, loc. cit., pp.266 f.]
So that if a servant of God felt that he had a message to offer his people,
there was no chance of his obtaining a hearing unless he wrote under the name
of one or other of the great ones of the past.
He might, moreover, well feel convinced that what he had to say expressed what the patriarchs of old and other worthies of the past would have thought and said.
That would seem to account satisfactorily for the pseudonymous titles of this and other apocalyptic books.
The two main divisions of the book are:
i-vi and vii-xii;
The former contains narratives, the latter visions.
Jehoiakim and many other Jews are carried captive to Babylon.
Nebuchadrezzar shows favour to certain of the noble Jewish youths;
among these are Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
These, out of loyalty to the Jewish Law, refuse the food provided for them by the king.
In spite of the simple fare which they choose in place of the king's bounty, they appear stronger in every way than those who partake of the royal food.
They are received into the king's favour.
Verses 20, 21 belong before the words of ii- 49, "but Daniel was in the gate of the king."
|Nebuchadrezzar seeks from his
wise men the interpretation of his dream;
on their being unable to give an interpretation they are condemned to death.
Daniel intercedes for them and they are saved;
for he not only describes the dream without having been told about it,
but also gives the interpretation of it.
The dream with its interpretation occurs in verses 31-45.
Daniel is placed over all the wise men of Babylonia.
|iii.1-30:||The narrative of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace.|
|iv.1-37 (Aram.iii.31-iv.34):||Nebuchadrezzar has another dream;
Daniel again interprets it,
and prophesies that the king, because of his pride, will be punished by the loss of his reason for a certain period;
this comes to pass (verses 34-37 (Aram.31-34); see the Septuagint).
The king repents and his reason comes back to him; his kingdom is restored.
the handwriting on the wall, which Daniel alone can interpret.
The death of Belshazzar.
|v.31-vi.28 (Aram.vi.1-27):||Daniel in the lion's den.
He is rescued and set over the whole kingdom.
|vii.1-28.||The vision of the four beasts, interpreted by an angel.|
|viii.1-27:||The vision of the ram and the he-goat, interpreted by Gabriel.|
|ix.1-3, 21-27 (verses 4-20 are an interpolation):||Daniel seeks an interpretation
of Jeremiah's prophecy concerning the seventy years' desolation of
the interpretation is given by Gabriel.
|x.1-xi.1:||A vision concerning the latter times.|
|xi.2-.4:||An historical retrospect, followed by a prophecy of the latter times.|
|.5-10:||A vision of two angels.
Verses 11-13 are a later addition.
As we have seen, the first half of our book contains narratives in which Daniel
plays the leading part,
though others, namely the companions of Daniel and various kings, also have important roles.
The question arises as to whether the writer of our book composed these stories himself, or whether he made use of some earlier sources.
The question is not superfluous, for one or two considerations suggest the possibility, perhaps the probability, of earlier material having been utilized.
Thus, the figure of Daniel was borrowed;
that legends of this mythical hero of old were current is certain, for his righteousness and wisdom are spoken of in Ezek.xiv.14, 20; xviii.3, as well known.
(There is also a reference to him in the recently found Ras-Shamra texts.)
In the two former of these passages Daniel is mentioned together with Noah
of these two later stories have been preserved;
this justifies the presumption, or at any rate the possibility, that our Daniel stories were based upon earlier legends.
It is also worth noting that in Ezekiel the mention of Daniel in conjunction with Noah and job shows that, like them, he was a hero of primeval times, and therefore a non-Jew;
but in our book he is represented as a true son of the Law.
Moreover, Ezek.xiv.18, 20 suggest that Daniel had children;
but in our book that element of the legend is left aside.
These things point clearly to the manipulation of earlier material.
In the second place, it must be conceded that some elements in the narratives
are not appropriate, considering the conditions of the times;
that they should have originated during a time of persecution is difficult to believe.
With the exception of Belshazzar the stories end in the conversion of a Gentile ruler;
this is not likely to have been the attitude of the Maccabaeans towards Antiochus Epiphanes;
see, e.g., ii Macc.vii.34-36; iv.Macc.ix.9, 3 1; x.11, 21; .19.
And, lastly, it is generally recognized that all the apocalyptic books make
use of traditional material;
so that if this is the case with the apocalyptic portions of Daniel, the same might well apply to the narrative portions.
Thus, while it is not possible to indicate what the sources were to which
the writer of our book had access, of the fact that such were utilized there
can be no reasonable doubt. [See, in general, Kuhl, Die drei Manner im Feuer (1930).]
Chs.i-ii.4a, viii- are in Hebrew,
ii.4b-vii in Aramaic.
[On the Aramaic of our book Baumgartner's art. In ZATW, 1927, pp.81-133, will be found useful.
See also the important article by H. H. Rowley, "Early Aramaic Dialects & the Book of Daniel," in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, pp.777-805 (1933).]
This fact will be found to raise some difficult problems, the attempts to
solve which, differ among scholars;
but this whole question has been so admirably and convincingly dealt with by Charles that his conclusions are likely to be generally accepted.
We shall return to the subject.
A point of less importance, but one that has been used as an argument for the theory of composite authorship, is that Daniel is spoken of in the third person in chs.i-vi, while in chs.vii- the first person is used.
This may, however, be accounted for by the difference of subject matter in the two parts of the book;
for chs.i-vi contain narratives, while chs.vii- describe visions.
But the real difficulty arises from the fact that the change of language does not correspond with the change of subject matter;
for, as we have seen, i-ii.4a is written in Hebrew, but ii.4b-vii.28 is in Aramaic;
if the change of subject matter corresponded with the change of language, the whole of chs.i-vi ought to be written in Hebrew, and chs.vii- in Aramaic, or vice versa.
Charles deals with the difficulty in great detail. We can offer here but a summary of his conclusions.
The book was originally written entirely in Aramaic.
This was necessary because the author wrote for the purpose of encouraging his people to be loyal to their ancestral religion at a time when they were suffering grievous persecution.
Aramaic was the vernacular;
Hebrew would not have been understood by the bulk of the people.
An important point in support of this contention is that the Aramaic sections do not give the impression of being translations. This cannot be claimed for the Hebrew sections.
Chs.ii.4b-vii are therefore in the original language of the book.
The reason why ii.4b-vii was not translated into Hebrew was because at this point the Chaldeans begin to speak:
"Then spake the Chaldaeans to the king in Aramaic".
Then begins the Aramaic: "O king, live for ever ...", i.e. the writer
lets them speak in what he thinks was their language.
The evidence given by Charles shows that ii.4b-vi and vii come from one and the same writer.
Since ch.vii records the first vision, and is written in Aramaic,
"there is no rational or conceivable ground for the author's forsaking the vernacular language of his day.
And having recourse to Hebrew for his remaining three visions in viii-, seeing that his visions, no less than his narratives, were addressed, not to a small educated minority who understood Hebrew, but to the uneducated many who understood only Aramaic."
The question then arises:
since ii.4b-vii has been left in their original language,
how comes it that i-ii.4a and viii- are in Hebrew?
In reply to this Charles writes:
"The original of the entire book of Daniel was of course in the Aramaic vernacular.
But, if the book was to be embodied in the Canon and made of lasting significance, this end could not be achieved otherwise than by commending itself in a Hebrew form.
At all events in its opening and closing chapters, to the scholars of the day, who could admit its canonical authority, as they did that of the bilingual Ezra, though they refused to include it in the Canon of the prophets."
[Op. cit., p.xlix;
so, too, Marti, in Kautzsch-Bertholet, Die Heilige Schrift des A. T., ii.460. Rowley
(ZATW, 1932, pp.256-268) disagrees with Charles;
but his own theory, though very ingenious, strikes us as unnecessarily complicated;
he holds that
"Daniel was a legendary hero, concerning whom popular astories were current in the post-exilic period, & that a Maccabaean author worked up some of these stories & issued them separately in Aramaic for the encouragement of his fellows. Chs.li-vi were thus issued.
Later, ch.vii was similarly issued in Aramaic.
The author had now passed over, however, to a different type of literature, which was less suitable for popular circulation.
This he recognized by writing subsequent eschatological visions of this type in Hebrew.
When he collected his stories & visions into a book, he wanted a fuller & more formal introduction than he has used for the first story when it was issued separately.
He therefore rewrote the first part of the story of Nebuchadrezzar's dream, & since this was now intended as an introduction to the whole book, it was written in Hebrew, the language of the more recent sections.
The point of transition was thus determined by the amount of the earlier material he desired to rewrite."
Other scholars maintain
that the whole book was written in Hebrew originally;
yet others that the first part was written in Aramaic & the second in Hebrew, & that there was a translation of the beginning of each half into the other language.]
There may have been a further reason for the apocalyptic portions viii to
being in Hebrew;
for since these are of a prophetic nature it would have been thought more appropriate to have them in the language of the earlier prophetic literature.
A matter of less importance is whether the author himself translated the portions
in question into Hebrew, or whether someone else did this.
Here again opinions differ.
Charles, in a searching examination of the linguistic character of the Hebrew portions, comes to the conclusion that the work of three translators is to be discerned (i-ii.4a; viii-x, ; and xi). [Op. cit., pp.xlvi ff.]
Rowley, in an acute criticism of Charles' contention, says:
"The differences Charles finds are quite insufficient to distinguish between the style of the sections,
and, moreover, if they were valid, they would each divide the Hebrew sections differently.
They do not support one another.
And certainly they give us no evidence whatever of three separate documents,
each marked by a distinctive group of literary usages."
[ZATW, 1932, p.264.]
This is somewhat over-stated;
but it must be confessed that it is a question very difficult to decide;
fortunately it is not one of great moment.
As is generally recognized, the apocalyptic literature presents us with two
greatly differing eschatological points of view.
Our book is in some notable particulars an illustration of this.
For example, while, on the one hand, the kingdom is for Israel alone, and Israel is to be supreme over all the nations of the world, there are, on the other, passages that certainly suggest that the kingdom is something more than a worldly one:
"And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people;
but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."
Similarly in vii.18-27;
the kingdom is clearly an earthly one in so far as it will overcome all other kingdoms;
but since it is an everlasting kingdom it must be something more than a purely earthly one.
The incongruity is quite comprehensible when it is remembered that throughout this literature two forms of eschatological teaching find a place.
The teaching concerning the future life shows developments of great interest; .2, 3 is one of the very few passages in the Old Testament, which express belief in the resurrection:
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.
Some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt ... ".
(The Hebrew has: "in the land of dust.")
Of the "many" that sleep in the dust of the earth, i.e. She'ol,
some who are raised are righteous and some are wicked.
But presumably the great mass of the departed continue their sleep in She'ol.
Nothing is said of these;
nor is anything said of the places wherein the risen righteous and the risen wicked, respectively, remain forever.
So far as one can gather, it would seem that, according to our author, She'ol is an intermediate state for both the righteous and some of the wicked, but an eternal abode for the great mass of departed spirits, whether good or bad.
It must, therefore, be acknowledged that our author does not present his ideas
on this momentous subject very clearly;
his belief in the fact of resurrection is definite;
but otherwise what he says raises questions to which he gives no answer.
The main fact in his conception of God is the emphasis he lays upon the divine transcendence.
The Almighty is spoken of as "the God of Heaven" (ii.18, 19, 44), "the
heavens" (iv.26), "the great and dreadful God" (ix.4), and see
also vii.9, 10.
This is also brought out by the place assigned to angels as the intermediaries between God and men;
angels interpret visions to Daniel (vii.16, viii.16, ix.22), and they act as guardians of nations (x.13, 20, 2 1, .1).
Like all the apocalyptists our author observes the precepts of the Law;
thus in the matter of clean and unclean foods (i.8-16), doing the works of the Law (iv.27, Hebr.24), keeping the hours of prayer (vi.10, Hebr.11).
By far the most important are the Greek versions.
Of these there are two: the Septuagint and Theodotion's revision of the Septuagint.
The former exists, however, in only one late and very corrupt MS.
For, whatever the reason may have been,
it was Theodotion's version and not the Septuagint,
which was mainly used by the early Church Fathers.
But, further, a matter of special interest about Theodotion's version is that it represents a version that was in existence long before his time.
This is proved by the fact that in large numbers of quotations from Daniel occurring in the writings of Church Fathers before his time, the characteristics of his version already appear.
Thus, there was a "pre-Theodotion" version.
It seems, therefore, reasonable to conclude that Theodotion had at his disposal
a MS. that presented a type of text -
so far as Daniel was concerned - superior to that of the ordinary Septuagint text.
This would, at any rate, account for the preference for his version, rather than for that of the Septuagint, on the part of early Church writers.
However this may be, Theodotion's version, as well as that of the Septuagint,
is of great value for the study of our book.
For in the frequently corrupt form of the original these versions supply what in all probability represents the true text.
This help is greatly needed, for, as Charles points out, the Massoretic text is in hundreds of passages "wholly untrustworthy as to the form of the original and occasionally as to its subject matter." (Op. cit., p.lix.)
In both the Greek versions there are large additions not found in the Massoretic text.
Thus, the Story of Susanna precedes Dan. i.1.
After Dan.iii.23 follows the Prayer of Azarias
and details about the heating of the furnace and the preservation of the three men in the furnace.
And after Dan..13 we have the story of Bel and the Dragon.
(On these additions see Kuhl, op. cit., pp.84-104.)
In the early Church these additions were regarded as belonging to the canonical
In the Septuagint text various further additions of minor importance appear.
Of less value, but not to be ignored, are the Peshitta and the Vulgate.